Western Herald – Kalamazoo Civic scores five awards at state theatre festival
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Kalamazoo Civic scores five awards at state theatre festival

The Kalamazoo Civic's Ben Zylman (left) accepts an award from Michigan State Festival Chair, Art Nemitz (right)

John Campbell
A&E Reporter

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre played host to the Michigan’s division of the American Association of Community Theatre, as the organization’s  2013 AACTFest Michigan State Festival set up shop in the playhouse last Friday and Saturday.

Ten different theatres from across the state competed at the state level with the top two advancing to the Region III Festival, featuring Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, in Hartford, Wisconsin from April 18-21. This year’s Michigan State Festival top two were “Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening with the Illuminati)” by Player’s De Noc in Escanaba and “Leaving Iowa” by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre in Ann Arbor.

Each theatre had to produce an hour long show and only had 10 minutes for set up and 10 minutes for strike. Their performance would be judged with various criteria by three adjudicators.

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s entry was a shortened version of their October 2012 show “The Imaginary Invalid.” The show was cut from its original, nearly three-hour length to fit  the allotted hour time limit. Though shortened, the show contained all the main elements of the original production, and still had amazing humor and timing by the cast.

Other entries in the Michigan State Festival were “Old Men and Fig Newtons” by Ichabod’s Little Theatre (from South Haven), “And a Child Shall Lead” by the Twin City Players from St. Joseph, “Ruthless!” by the Farmington Players from Farmington Hills, “Echoplex” by the Rosedale Community Players from Southfield, “Clara” by the Monroe Community Players from Monroe, “American Son” by the Lakeside Civic Players from Ludington and “I Do! I Do!” by the Grosse Pointe Theatre from Grosse Pointe.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Radisson Plaza in Downtown Kalamazoo on Sunday, along with various winners of other awards.

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre walked away with five awards. Ben Zylman won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. Kelly White and Kelly Dominique both took home awards for Excellence in Acting, while David Kyhn won an Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design award and Barbara B. Moelaart received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design.

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre will have a chance to move past the Michigan State Festival when AACTFest returns in 2015.

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